Councils continue to invest in CCTV 'spy cars' despite Government's planned clamp down


Traffic Enforcement CCTV Car

Councils continue to invest in CCTV 'spy cars' despite local government secretary Eric Pickles announcing plans to ban the controversial vehicles.

The traffic enforcement vehicles are typically decked out with on-board CCTV equipment that captures motorists breaking traffic rules and automatically sends fines of up to £130 through the post.

The vehicles have previously been dubbed 'spy cars' by individuals and members of parliament who feel they are simply a method for local councils to make more money to top up council coffers.

An investigation by the MailOnline has found that 20 authorities – including one of the country's biggest, Manchester City Council – have either introduced new CCTV cars or have firm plans to do so.

Councils continue to take advantage of the controversial technology despite Eric Pickles saying: "CCTV spy cars are just an excuse for councils to raise money from issuing parking fines on an industrial scale.

"They undermine natural justice, as car owners receive the fine weeks later in the post making it extremely hard to challenge on appeal. This is why the government has published proposals to ban CCTV being used for parking purposes."

He also pledged to, "rein in the town hall parking bullies."

The CCTV vehicles have dished out more than 340,000 fines worth at least £30 million in the last year but a staggering 44 per cent of drivers who appealed tickets won their cases.

According to the MailOnline, some 697 won outright while another 379 had their cases dropped by the council once they mounted a formal challenge.

The MailOnline discovered unearthed the findings after submitting a Freedom of Information request to 373 councils, of which 296 replied within the legal deadline.

Five authorities - Manchester City Council, Derby City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Slough Borough Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – said they had already launched CCTV cars in the time between Mr Pickles' announcement on September 27 and the end of October.

Another 15 areas had made plans to do so.

Councils have said the cameras help to keep roads safe, especially near schools, and that the public has demanded more on the roads.